14 Words That Australians Think You're Using Totally Wrong

by Elana

To the typical Australian, life in Australia is just that, life! To the rest of the world, it's a continent plagued by dangerous, deadly creatures and bugs with some of the coolest people on the planet. That is one way to sum up Australia versus the world, but that's not where the game ends.

There are many things about Australia that sets the continent apart from the rest of the world and one major factor we all take for granted: the language. Yeah... especially the Americans who tend to think "English is English." 

What we realize a little more every day is that nothing about Australia is really quite like anywhere else and that definitely goes for the language. It's amazing how many commonly used words take on an entirely different meaning down under. Take a look for yourself and have a little fun at your friend's expense switching out the meanings. You might get some crazy looks but it will be fun. 

1. "Shout"

Let's kick it off with a totally normal sounding word to most of the world.

For most of the world, shout is clearly understood as:

"(of a person) utter a loud call or cry, typically as an expression of a strong emotion" / "a loud cry expressing a strong emotion or calling attention"
Basically, it's raising your voice and being obnoxious or doing a better job getting someone's attention.

To Australians:

To treat someone (usually your friends) to a round of drinks or a meal. 

Because "I'm buying" isn't as much fun as "My shout."

2. "Spew"

This one is already fun.

To most of us, totally disgusted right now:

Vomit. Barf. Blow chunks.
You get the picture.

To Australians:

The very epitome of angry. About as furious as one can get.

What an interesting conversation it would be to confuse those two....

3. "Barbie"

Iconic no matter what continent you're on!

For most of us in this world, Barbie means a lot of things:

Okay, not really a lot of things. Barbie is an iconic toy, the epitome of most girls' childhoods. She can be anything and everything, and she managed to set some crazy, unrealistic expectations for bodies along the way.

For Australians: 

A fun way to say "barbecue." Seriously, say it in an Australian accent. It's fun.

Everyone has their nicknames for grilling out but I think it's fair to say Australia wins this round. 

4. "Root"

Talk about crossed wires...

For most of the world:

"Root" is a pretty simple word and definitely totally innocent. 
"the part of a plant that attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers."

Then there's Australia....

Slang for bang! Or more commonly used to replace the word, "f*ck." It's sexual in nature. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. 

You filthy, Australians. 

5. "Doodle."

Hope you were lookin' to giggle, today.

Ah, another chance for Australians to corrupt our innocent minds. 

Because for most of the world, "doodle" is quite the innocent word!
It usually refers to scribbling or absent-minded drawing. 

Sigh, then there's Australia...

Penis. It means penis.

6. "Piss"

Let's face it, nobody wins this round.

For most of the world:

Piss means to urinate. Ew.

For Australians:

Piss is alcohol.

Trust me when I say very firmly, you do not want to mix these two up. 

7. "Guy"

Well, well, well...

For most of the world:

"Guy" is just another word for "man," or "dude," or even "bro." It's pretty simple, yeah?

For Australians, it's a much more comical answer:

Guy Sebastian may have been the first winner of "Australian Idol" in 2004 but to any Australian you ask, he robbed Shannon Noll of the title. Apparently, they're still spewing over it.

I have to take Australia's side on this one. 

8. Rage

We rather enjoy this one.
8. Rage

For most of the world:

"Rage" is a violent and uncontrollable form of anger. It's not pretty.

For Australians: 

A pivotal part of the Australian childhood experience in the form of early morning musical enjoyment.

Oh, okay.

9. "Boot"

Seems simple enough.

For most of the world:

"Boot" means: "a sturdy item of footwear covering the foot, the ankle, and sometimes the leg below the knee"
We even write songs about boots. 
"These boots were made for walkin'.... and that's just what they'll do..."
(Have fun with that stuck in your head the rest of the day.)

For Australians:

It's the back of your car. Americans might call this the "trunk."
Australians frequently like to store their piss in the boot.
(I literally giggled saying that.)

10. "Thongs"

This one is great. You'll enjoy this one.

For most of the world:

A "thong" is a particular type of panties that offers minimal coverage of the buttocks. 

For Australians: 

Rubber sandals that the rest of the world may refer to as "flip flops."

I don't think anyone really wins this one because let's face it, flip flops is a really stupid word but trying to convince people that underwear and sandals are interchangeable would be an impossible task. 

11. "Cunt"

Protect your delicate ears for this one, folks.

For most of the world:

"Cunt" is about as vile of an insult one can offer. It can also translate to slang for vagina and is fairly unanimously agreed upon to be a "bad" word.

Then there's Australia:

"Cunt" is used as frequently as "mate" in the down under. Your sweetest, most docile aunt probably uses the word like it's nothing. It's often used endearingly. 

This creates quite a culture clash for Australians traveling abroad. It's hilarious for anyone who knows both. 

12. Cooked

What a world we live in.
12. Cooked

For most of the world:

"Cooked" is nothing more than the past tense of cook and cook means "prepare (food, a dish, or a meal) by combining and heating the ingredients in various ways."

In Australia:

"Cook" takes on a totally different meaning and is used when referring to finishing off a rather large amount of alcohol, or drugs (of course.) It's also known as "munted," and frequently pairs well with the word "cunt."

Definitely don't want to mix those definitions up. 

13. "Maggot"

Oh, okay...

For most of the world:

"Maggot" is quite simply a fly larva and is frequently spotted feasting on dead and dying things. Totally gross for most of us to even think about.

For Australians, on the other hand:

"Maggot" it to be utterly wasted. Totally drunk.
Or some Australians might be keen to say to "be" maggot is what would happen after you skull a bunch of piss. Of course.

This would get some funny looks when confused but probably not as huge of a deal as other confusions on the list.

14. "Skull"

Speaking of skull...

To most of the world:

"Skull" is a pretty simple one: "a framework of bone or cartilage enclosing the brain of a vertebrate; the skeleton of a person's or animal's head."

Then again there's Australia:

"Skull" is simply put, chugging. Skull all the piss. That's the primary objective. You'll be maggot but hey, it's a good time down under. 

Australia, you're great.